Complete Trust

Complete trust is rare. Somehow, between childhood and adulthood, we equate less trust with more wisdom. The toddler who jumped from the edge of the pool into his parents’ arms with full conviction that he would be caught becomes skeptical of his parents’ advice by the time he’s a teenager. The young adult who believes she has the power to become anything she wants begins to doubt her capabilities when they are tested by a world that doesn’t have her best interest at heart.

We’ve been betrayed by people who don’t love us, and hurt by those who want to use us for their own gain. We’ve trusted bad advice and shallow perspective and ended up wounded by betrayal and consequences that leave literal and invisible scars. We decide that we can’t trust others, so we begin to trust only ourselves.

This is where the gap between heaven and earth is most stark. The Bible is full of stories where God said “Trust me”. The hero of great battles was asked to conquer a fortified city armed only with trumpets and a cheering squad. A prostitute put her life in the hands of spies who came to destroy her city. (Joshua 2) The farmer who hid from his enemies was asked to lead a few untrained soldiers into battle against a huge, well equipped army. (Judges 6) Nehemiah, a wine taster in the palace of Persia, was asked to construct a wall around the ruined city of Jerusalem under the eyes of men who did not want him to succeed. Elijah set up a competition between Yahweh and Baal, knowing that those who served the loser would die. Each of them chose to trust God, and each of them saw the power of God in their own lives and over their enemies.

God wants us to learn to trust him, and he is patient with us in that process. The best view we have of God is when we chose to believe and obey his power, even when we can’t see a happy ending. The Hebrews who were pinned down between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army saw that God could be trusted to save them. Daniel defied the orders of the Babylonian king learned that God has complete power over our enemies. On Easter morning Christ appeared to heartbroken, confused disciples and showed them that not even death was a threat to them anymore.

How many parents beg their children to trust their love and advice, knowing that the choices their children are making are not going to end well? How many of my “scars” came from trusting the wrong source? How much pain and disappointment could we avoid if we trusted God, rather than the narrow, shallow, self serving advice of those who want power or another book sold?

I want to see God as he is in my world, but that requires that I trust him. Sin is nearly always the easy choice, and trust always looks risky. God does not change. He is the same today as he was in the Old Testament. There are situations in my life right now that I don’t like, that are painful for me to endure. I can try to manipulate them using my limited perspective and feeble efforts, or I can trust the one who says, “Follow Me”, the one who has proved himself faithful over and over, in history and in my life. Only then will I have a front row seat to see heaven invade earth, to bring my good and his glory.